Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Release Date: 2003
ISBN: 061826924X
Format Reviewed: Paperback
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Genre: Self-help
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Reviewer Notes: Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of This is the Place and Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered

The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself
A Creative Workbook to Inspire Self-Discovery

The Power of Play

Playful Guidance to Knowing
Who You Are

     Along about the middle of Roberta Allen’s newest book called The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself is a picture of an unmade bed. There is plenty of room to write your answer to the question “What have you left undone?” I was amused and longed to stick one of those little carat things above the caption to add “that you give a hoot about.” You see my own bed—that morning, anyway—had been left undone. I really didn’t care a bit, because I was doing something much more important. I was writing!

     The point is that Roberta’s mischievous question had done its job. I wanted to share. I wanted to write. And yes, I learned something about myself. I have an anti-authoritarian streak. I am amused by stuff like unmade beds. And I prefer writing above most other human activities.

     This is a book that can do the same for you. All kinds of questions pertinent to the way you live are found between its pages, along with Roberta’s expressive photography. Egyptology being one of my passions, I loved the sculptured shot of dusky pyramids with the question “What can you do to simplify your life?” Journalers, journalists and just plain people who aren’t much about writing at all will want to explore other questions within its pages like “What is holding you back (with a picture of a very threatening section of a barbed wire fence)?” and “Do you see something of yourself in this little girl (with a picture of a waif carrying a bag of cast-offs)?”

     For those who are writing-inhibited or therapy-unintiated, Roberta includes very simple guidance to get started. Because Roberta is a creativity coach, she is well equipped to motivate anyone to begin a new adventure and to push the more experienced along that path less traveled.

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